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Matilija Press

Matilija Press - Patricia Fry established Matilija Press when she self-published The Ojai Valley: An Illustrated History in 1983. Matilija Press has since published several additional books and counting.

Matilija is an unusual word, unfamiliar to anyone who doesn't live in Ventura County, California. It is a Chumash Indian word thought by some to mean "laughing waters." The actual translation, however, is "division." The meaning of the word has no bearing on why she chose it for her company name. Matilija is also the name of an early Chumash tribe, a canyon above the village of Ojai, the junior high school and a main street in the village. She chose the word Matilija for her company name because it is melodic and unusual. Since the first two books she self-published were primarily of local interest, she liked the idea of using a word meaningful to locals.